(dpa-AFX) - The Japanese stock market is advancing on Wednesday after six straight days of losses, as the positive cues overnight from Wall Street lifted investor sentiment. Additionally, a weaker yen boosted exporters' stocks.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 382.18 points or 2.22 percent to 17,601.14, off a high of 17,653.69 earlier.
The major exporters are higher. Panasonic is advancing more than 2 percent, Sony is gaining almost 3 percent and Toshiba is rising more than 3 percent. In addition, Casio Computer and Canon are adding almost 3 percent each.
Shares of Sharp are gaining almost 2 percent after the Nikkei business daily reported that South Korean conglomerate Samsung Electronics is exploring buying into an LCD panel venture between Sharp Corp. and
Hon Hai Precision Industry
. Samsung plans to buy shares of Sakai Display if the Hon Hai exits the partnership.
Market heavyweight Fast Retailing and SoftBank are up almost 3 percent each. In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is rising almost 5 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial Group are adding more than 3 percent each.
Oil stocks Inpex is up 0.3 percent and JX Holdings is adding almost 1 percent despite the fall in crude oil prices overnight.
Among the other major gainers, Okuma Corp. is gaining more than 6 percent, DeNA Co. is rising almost 6 percent and TDK Corp. is up more than 5 percent.
On the economic front, the Bank of Japan said that the M2 money stock in
was up 3.0 percent on year in December, coming in at 921.1 trillion yen
. That was shy of forecasts for a gain of 3.3 percent, which would have been unchanged from the November reading.
The M3 money stock was up an annual 2.5 percent to 1,239.3 trillion yen - also below estimates for 2.7 percent, which would have been unchanged.
In the currency market, the
dollar is trading in the upper 117 yen
on Wednesday, up from Tuesday's close in the lower 117 yen
On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Tuesday in a volatile session as traders continued to keep an eye on developments in
, where authorities made an effort to stabilize the yuan following recent weakness. Traders also kept a close eye on the price of crude oil, which turned lower on the day but closed well off its worst levels.
The Dow climbed 117.65 points or 0.7 percent to 16,516.22, the Nasdaq jumped 47.93 points or 1 percent to 4,685.92 and the S&P 500 advanced 15.01 points or 0.8 percent to 1,938.68.
The major European markets showed strong moves to the upside on Tuesday. While the
100 Index advanced by 1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index jumped by 1.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices plunged yet again Tuesday, briefly falling below $30 a barrel for the first time in more than a decade. WTI oil for February delivery regained some ground, but still ended the day down $0.97 at a twelve-year closing low of $30.44 a barrel.
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